Did you know that the tradition of a groom wearing a boutonniere goes back to medieval times when a knight, as a symbol of his love and devotion, wore a flower in his lady's favourite colour on his jacket lapel?
Traditionally the groom's boutonniere was to reflect a similar style to the bride's bouquet. Nowadays, these miniature bouquets don't have to be as uniform in arrangement and can have an individuality that complements the style and overall theme of the wedding. It's customary for the groom, the groomsmen and fathers' of the bride and groom to wear a boutonniere, but why not extend it to other male relatives such as brothers, uncles, nephews and grandfathers? The classic beauty of a single rose wrapped in satin ribbon is perfect for a formal wedding while for a more relaxed wedding you can select natives, succulents or fragrant herbs, like rosemary, lavender and fresh bay leaves. Also, consider using coloured or variegated foliage to add interest.
- selection of flowers and greenery
- florist wire cut into 20cm lengths
- florist tape
- sharp knife or scissors
- pearl-headed pins
- decorative ribbon
How to create
- If you are using heavy flowers or buds in the boutonniere you will need to wire them so they don't wilt, e.g. roses, dahlias and gerberas. Thread florist wire through the base of the flower until halfway through, bend it to create a hairpin shape and pull the wire down to line up with the flower stem (see image 1).
- Select two or three pieces of background greenery and position the wired flower in the centre of the leaves. At this point you need to secure the main flower to the foliage. Holding the cluster gently, wind the wire around and down all the stems.
- Cut the stems of the flowers and wire to the desired length then, starting from the top, bind them all together with florist tape. Be sure to stretch the tape as you work as the tape is not very sticky and stretching helps it to adhere correctly. For a neat finish to conceal the stem ends, pinch the tape together.
- To cover the stems, wrap ribbon from the lower end up the stem to the base of the flowers. Secure ends of ribbon in place with a pin or extra wire.
- Once completed, spray lightly with water and place in an air-filled plastic bag or airtight container in the refrigerator - not the freezer.
TIP: Select flowers that aren't too delicate or bruise easily. Transport the boutonnieres to the ceremony in an icebox if it's a hot day. Not all flowers need to be wired as shown in image 1. Some only need to have the wire wrapped around them to hold them tightly together to form a bunch, e.g. hydrangeas.